Aleman Gonzalez v. Barr, No. 18-16465 (9th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs, representatives of a certified class of aliens who are subject to final orders of removal and are detained pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1231(a)(6) within the Ninth Circuit, filed suit challenging their prolonged detention without an individualized bond hearing.
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of a preliminary injunction requiring the Government to provide each class member detained for six months or longer with a bond hearing before an immigration judge where the burden is on the Government to justify continued detention. The panel held that plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their section 1231(a)(6) statutory claim. Although the panel recognized some tension between Diouf v. Napolitano and Jennings v. Rodriguez, it cannot conclude that the decisions are so fundamentally inconsistent that it can no longer apply Diouf II without running afoul of Jennings. Therefore, the panel held that it remains bound by Diouff II. The panel also held that the district court did not err in relying on Diouf II's construction of section 1231(a)(6) to require a bond hearing before an IJ after six months of detention for an alien whose release or removal is not imminent.
The panel held that, because Jennings did not invalidate its constitutional due process holding in Singh v. Holder, the district court also properly required the Government to bear a clear and convincing burden of proof at such a bond hearing to justify an alien's continued detention. The panel rejected the Government's remaining challenges and held that the preliminary injunction complies with a proper reading of Clark v. Martinez.